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Has Recreational Aviation collapsed?


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OK ..You haven't got a pile of dough tied up in your aviation  which fit's the bang for your buck test. .  It's easy to spend heaps on toys like planes or boats which are often Mostly under utilised.  When money gets short the hard facts have to get assessed.. The years I spent paying for training and planes used just about every dollar I could lay my hands on at the time because I was dead keen to FLY. and hoped to get a job flying which did happen for many years in very interesting machines  However getting back to OUR scene now. The newer" Buy and fly stuff' is  not cheap and is now a bigger  % of the fleet. which rules out a lot of people...  I can't see younger people who regard the wonder of flight as more HO Hum than we did, flocking to it.. The young people are always the future..Nev   

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Is it a generational thing? Are those "middle aged farts" tinkering in their sheds being replaced by "digital-age dynamos"? Remember back to your twenties when an RC plane was balsa with an IC engine

Contrary to what we expected this year, the interest in learning to fly is highest I've seen in 15 years. Especially so as we now have a better view of the future of international travel and the devel

Or lack of finances , which by the way is why the AUF was formed in the first place,,,,but thats all forgotten now as the ga boys have taken over........raa is fucked ,  

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35 minutes ago, facthunter said:

OK ..You haven't got a pile of dough tied up in your aviation  which fit's the bang for your buck test.

Compared to some, my aviation investment may be modest, but it’s consumed a huge part of my available funds; I had to choose between the plane and keeping my Guzzi registered; the plane is cheaper.

35 minutes ago, facthunter said:

... The newer" Buy and fly stuff' is  not cheap and is now a bigger  % of the fleet. which rules out a lot of people... 

Nobody is forced to buy them; there are lots of decent flying machines on the very inexpensive end of the market.

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I see lots of young tradies with a Dodge Ram or similar towing a $150,000 wakeboard boat. By those standards an aircraft isn't that expensive. I have one acquaintance, in the concrete business, who just spent about $350,000 on his Jetranger overhaul. Yesterday someone paid $4.3 million for a relatively modest house in my old suburb. Aircraft aren't that expensive consideriing......

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The only thing that MAY hold growth back is Flying School hourly rates charged for RAA aircraft and instructors.  Some school aircraft have bells and whistles and charge accordingly.

i have seen $320 per hour RAA.  I think that is over the top.  One school I phoned for enquiry....I thought I was talking to a vacuum cleaner salesman.......

 

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Schools around Melbourne seem to charge $120.00 to $150.00/hour just for the instructor, then there is the aircraft. I just did my RAA BFR. 1 hour flying & a debrief, cost $200.00 + GST= $220.00. Way back when I got my PPL a lot of instructors charged nothing for their time as it was hours they were after in order to propel them into a commercial role. Even then many were on minimum wages until they could land that elusive airline job. Since Covid that has all turned to custard. I'd find another school if I was being charged $120.00 or more for the instructor especially when I just want to learn to fly a RAA aircraft.

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1 hour ago, jackc said:

The only thing that MAY hold growth back is Flying School hourly rates charged for RAA aircraft and instructors.  Some school aircraft have bells and whistles and charge accordingly.

i have seen $320 per hour RAA.  I think that is over the top.  One school I phoned for enquiry....I thought I was talking to a vacuum cleaner salesman.......

 

Hi Jack  You should book a couple of lessons with Matt at 'Matts Flying' at Palmyra (Sav S).  If you do; and travel up the evening before there are stretchers in my hangar or throw a sway done.  There is a common shower toilet block and power to make a cuppa and fridge for food.  May be worth a try. 

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14 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

 I had to choose between the plane and keeping my Guzzi registered; the plane is cheaper.

 

Hoping tokeep my Griso 1100 AND an aircraft. 

What's your Guzzi????

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I don't think it's fair to expect Instructors to work for nothing They have costs too relating to keeping their qualifications. Nor it it fair to not contribute to the aerodrome costs when you use one.. It's hard for instructors to get any money. I've managed petrol to get me and the car there at best.. It's been that way for a long time. Nev

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1 hour ago, jackc said:

The only thing that MAY hold growth back is Flying School hourly rates charged for RAA aircraft and instructors.  Some school aircraft have bells and whistles and charge accordingly.

i have seen $320 per hour RAA.  I think that is over the top.  One school I phoned for enquiry....I thought I was talking to a vacuum cleaner salesman.......

 

$320/hour for RAAus???? Definitely OTT.
The flight school I used to get my RPC charges $190/hour with instructor, $160/hour for aircraft hire. (Jab 170C)
Others in W.A. charge $250-$265/hour, but for Foxbat or Tecnam Sierra.

But regardless, much cheaper than GA.
 

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

I don't think it's fair to expect Instructors to work for nothing They have costs too relating to keeping their qualifications.  Nev

Nor  should they be expected to work for nothing. Instructors have dedicated a lot of their time and money into obtaining and maintaining their qualifications. To work for nothing is to severely undervalue the worth and value of the qualification. You dont expect the plumber to clear a drain for nothing, you dont expect the LAME to work on the plane for nothing and you dont expect Jims mowing to clean up the garden for free. Why should we expect instructors to work for free or for next to nothing? If the cost of the instructor is going to mean you cant afford the flight training then it is entirely probable you won't be able to afford to remain recent / competent when you get the qualifications anyway. When I started instructing (in the 90's) junior instructors were expected to work for free to "Build experience" and even senior ones were paid bugger all. Like many I did charters for nothing, flew positioning flights for free and instructed for the cost of a hamburger!! Did I stay in that environment? Nope I moved out of it, so did many who were better or more experienced than me simply because they could pay their bills!! The industry lost a lot of experience and good people simply because they actually wanted to get paid a fair amount.  Its fair enough for those able to afford it to work for free (especially when supporting a cause or when trying to help a young person with a lot of dedication and potential) and I agree i am happy to not charge for an extended debrief or to help out in person or over the phone with questions for free it about building a relationship between students and instructors. But then again to each their own and if people are happy to work for the love of flying thats their prerogative.  

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It's important who you share the hangar with also. Hangar RASH can cause a crash. Often you buy/rent a site and build a hangar on it.. Leaving planes in the open is sacrilege... If it's not junk it soon will be. Nev

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1 hour ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

There is a shortage of hanger space everywhere it seems. 

Yes, that would indicate Recreational Aviation is thriving and has not collapsed.

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It is ONE indicator, and there may be others far more accurate. Some hangars I know of are just storing stuff. I think COLLAPSED is not quite the word to use and I don't think anyone is actually arguing that situation.  Flying hours and planes in the sky? I pass many aerodromes and live in an area  where normally there  would be quite a lot of activity and it's way below normal in respect of light aircraft and heavies. Same at Benalla, Wangaratta and Porepunka.  Nev

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I was thinking it was silly to say it could have collapsed, but then on thinking back we used to have a regular group that flew each weekend. Now I hardly ever see anyone at the strip. Nobody seems interested in running a fly in here, or at least they all say it would be a good idea, but have so little interest I cannot get them to say which weekend would suit. So I gave up and maybe that is what is happening to recreational flying. One bloke even went so far as to say he would organise one, but that was months ago and it still hasn't been mentioned again.

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17 minutes ago, Yenn said:

I was thinking it was silly to say it could have collapsed, but then on thinking back we used to have a regular group that flew each weekend. Now I hardly ever see anyone at the strip. Nobody seems interested in running a fly in here, or at least they all say it would be a good idea, but have so little interest I cannot get them to say which weekend would suit. So I gave up and maybe that is what is happening to recreational flying. One bloke even went so far as to say he would organise one, but that was months ago and it still hasn't been mentioned again.

I hope you're reading the posts about full hangars and full flight bookings above. The Title of this thread just seems to invite doom and gloom.

What does happen at times is within a local district the demographics of people's interest sometimes changes.  I can remember a tennis club booming in a particular local district. All the farmers would chip in helping to build infrastructure, organise tournaments etc then a few people retired, no one wantd to do the work, and 50 years ago the tennis courts were dilapidated and covered in sheep dung, but the tennis centre in the nearby town has continued to expand to this day, so what you are saying is quite possible, but a few districts away a country airfield may be booming because all the kids have matured to the point where they want to fly. Also where an instructor sets up business catering for, say four districts and flies to each one once a month, he can build quite a good income per month flying to each district at the start of the week. To me the bottom line for Recreational Flying is the number of paid up members, and that seems to be going very well.

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Contrary to what we expected this year, the interest in learning to fly is highest I've seen in 15 years. Especially so as we now have a better view of the future of international travel and the development of vaccines for CV19.  The TIFs coming through are a mix of people from 15yo to 60yo, and their reasons are many and varied.  Very few are thinking about captaining a big jet with a red tail, nor are they aspiring to burning avtur in an F18. A proportion are looking to use an aircraft to widen their tradie business, and some are just looking to fulfill one more item on their 'bucket' list.

 

Hangarage is at a premium here, being driven by many aircraft owners vacating the Perth metro area for personal/family reasons, plus a more relaxed sea-change and less ATC oversight of your every move. Some are even purchasing any hangar that comes up for sale, well before they complete a shift of family down here: perhaps recognising the massive costs of building a new hangar and the hassles and delays in obtaining a leased site on the airport. As it is, hangar lease costs run at $11/m2 pa, so that's $3600 pa before I start looking at hangarkeepers insurance, ($800), and çommercial' landing fees for the Brumby, ($750 pa).  With 4 aircraft in the hangar, the per aircraft cost is about $1100 before any margin is added.

 

Demand for instructing in GA is very high, with a lot of BFRs, RV conversions, T/W endos and formation endos being sought. The local GA school charges between $132 and $176/hr for the instructor on non-school aircraft, for these activities.  My RAAus school operates a 5yo Brumby highwing and charges $220 dual or supervised solo, and $165 private hire.  Personally, I charge out at $88/hr for owner aircraft work, regardless of whether it's RAAus or GA. That includes an hour of brief/debrief which seems to be an industry wide expectation, but it seriously limits what can be done in a day.  Demand for RAAus is above what it has been in pre-CV19 days, but would be higher again if it wasn't for the stupidity of CASA in calling the RPPL/GFPT an RPL and thus muddying the water for prospects.  I can't recall any recent prospect gasping at our prices, probably because they had just been quoted $300/hr for a C150, or $380/hr for a C172, or even higher at Jandakot.  Price seems much lower on peoples' priorities than does receiving steady, competent service from an experienced instructor.

 

Private owner activity in both GA and RAAus has picked up since September. Our local aeroclubs'RV9A has flown more hours in the last 3 months that in the rest of the year - the club is actually running at a profit!!  We've conducted flypasts for our local RSL for Australia Day, Anzac Day and recently, Remembrance Day - getting the message out that light aircraft activity is happening, and that we're actually not all that shabby.  Local RSL now have a dedicated promotions person, and that is helping with recognition of the civilian activity here. What has changed over the past few years is that pilots are not doing the long distance 'holiday' flights that used to buildup hours by 20-30 per flight. Rather, it seems that flights are more in the 2-3 hr size and are to travel to a specific event, be it a flying or other.  

 

Scammers have been much more in evidence this year, with all manner of requests for 'quotes' for a complete course, and more requests to 'help' with visas and HECS docs etc. I'm sure that other flying schools are also being pestered by these as well.  

 

Whether RAAus is able to mount any big promotion or not, it seems that there is a reasonable increase in demand industry wide. I'm not convinced that any national, (expensive), learn-to-fly promotion is really going to achieve much.  From long experience with the press & media, it seems that local contacts, helpful info, a local 'visit-our-airport' day, and taking the reporter for a TIF works better for local interest. How/if RAAus can assist with these is of great interest to me.  

 

happy days,

2020 Anzac Day 1100 Flypast (2).jpg

Aust Day 2020 - 3.JPG

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On 13/11/2020 at 4:19 PM, Yenn said:

How have the bureaucrats killed off our old farts flying. I still fly and there are a few others fly from the same strip. There are clubs within 50 or so miles from us in 3 directions. The fourth direction is too wet.

People who want to fly can do so and probably as easily as they have eve been able to. It is not bureaucrats, but rather a lack of interest that is reducing flying.

Or lack of finances , which by the way is why the AUF was formed in the first place,,,,but thats all forgotten now as the ga boys have taken over........raa is fucked ,

 

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On 27/11/2020 at 5:19 PM, poteroo said:

Contrary to what we expected this year, the interest in learning to fly is highest I've seen in 15 years. Especially so as we now have a better view of the future of international travel and the development of vaccines for CV19.  The TIFs coming through are a mix of people from 15yo to 60yo, and their reasons are many and varied.  Very few are thinking about captaining a big jet with a red tail, nor are they aspiring to burning avtur in an F18. A proportion are looking to use an aircraft to widen their tradie business, and some are just looking to fulfill one more item on their 'bucket' list.

 

Hangarage is at a premium here, being driven by many aircraft owners vacating the Perth metro area for personal/family reasons, plus a more relaxed sea-change and less ATC oversight of your every move. Some are even purchasing any hangar that comes up for sale, well before they complete a shift of family down here: perhaps recognising the massive costs of building a new hangar and the hassles and delays in obtaining a leased site on the airport. As it is, hangar lease costs run at $11/m2 pa, so that's $3600 pa before I start looking at hangarkeepers insurance, ($800), and çommercial' landing fees for the Brumby, ($750 pa).  With 4 aircraft in the hangar, the per aircraft cost is about $1100 before any margin is added.

 

Demand for instructing in GA is very high, with a lot of BFRs, RV conversions, T/W endos and formation endos being sought. The local GA school charges between $132 and $176/hr for the instructor on non-school aircraft, for these activities.  My RAAus school operates a 5yo Brumby highwing and charges $220 dual or supervised solo, and $165 private hire.  Personally, I charge out at $88/hr for owner aircraft work, regardless of whether it's RAAus or GA. That includes an hour of brief/debrief which seems to be an industry wide expectation, but it seriously limits what can be done in a day.  Demand for RAAus is above what it has been in pre-CV19 days, but would be higher again if it wasn't for the stupidity of CASA in calling the RPPL/GFPT an RPL and thus muddying the water for prospects.  I can't recall any recent prospect gasping at our prices, probably because they had just been quoted $300/hr for a C150, or $380/hr for a C172, or even higher at Jandakot.  Price seems much lower on peoples' priorities than does receiving steady, competent service from an experienced instructor.

 

Private owner activity in both GA and RAAus has picked up since September. Our local aeroclubs'RV9A has flown more hours in the last 3 months that in the rest of the year - the club is actually running at a profit!!  We've conducted flypasts for our local RSL for Australia Day, Anzac Day and recently, Remembrance Day - getting the message out that light aircraft activity is happening, and that we're actually not all that shabby.  Local RSL now have a dedicated promotions person, and that is helping with recognition of the civilian activity here. What has changed over the past few years is that pilots are not doing the long distance 'holiday' flights that used to buildup hours by 20-30 per flight. Rather, it seems that flights are more in the 2-3 hr size and are to travel to a specific event, be it a flying or other.  

 

Scammers have been much more in evidence this year, with all manner of requests for 'quotes' for a complete course, and more requests to 'help' with visas and HECS docs etc. I'm sure that other flying schools are also being pestered by these as well.  

 

Whether RAAus is able to mount any big promotion or not, it seems that there is a reasonable increase in demand industry wide. I'm not convinced that any national, (expensive), learn-to-fly promotion is really going to achieve much.  From long experience with the press & media, it seems that local contacts, helpful info, a local 'visit-our-airport' day, and taking the reporter for a TIF works better for local interest. How/if RAAus can assist with these is of great interest to me.  

 

happy days,

2020 Anzac Day 1100 Flypast (2).jpg

Aust Day 2020 - 3.JPG

$ 200000 dollars worth of supposed affordable aviation in this photo ! YEH your right it is flourishing for the rich boys using rules designed for affordable aviation.  The money in this photo would have 15 aircraft all flying around together enjoying the pleasure of flight ,,not like you guys just showing off your expensive toys to your mates and using them for long distance transport at high speed with cta access etc ,you know WHAT GA was for before the takeover of the AUF??

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Just now, bull said:

$ 200000 dollars worth of supposed affordable aviation in this photo ! YEH your right it is flourishing for the rich boys using rules designed for affordable aviation.  The money in this photo would have 15 aircraft all flying around together enjoying the pleasure of flight ,,not like you guys just showing off your expensive toys to your mates and using them for long distance transport at high speed with cta access etc ,you know WHAT GA was for before the takeover of the AUF??One sentence you said says it all,,,, A proportion are looking to use an aircraft to widen their tradie business, You do know that that iis NOT what AUF/RAA was formed for don't you? That is what GA was for..........................

 

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There is nothing stopping anyone buying and operating a cheap aircraft. I have seen them advertised in the $10-15,000 range recently. What is it about the recreational scene that is upsetting people who want to do that? 

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1 minute ago, pmccarthy said:

There is nothing stopping anyone buying and operating a cheap aircraft. I have seen them advertised in the $10-15,000 range recently. What is it about the recreational scene that is upsetting people who want to do that? 

Ok well tell me where you can now go learn to fly a high drag open cockpit aircraft at less then $200 an hour?

 

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Just now, bull said:

Ok well tell me where you can now go learn to fly a high drag open cockpit aircraft at less then $200 an hour?

 

If you just wanted to fly a cheap drifter or thruster ,you are now FORCED to learn to fly in a totally inappropriate aircraft for that regime of flight ,,do you think this is conductive to SAFETY ,,?? cause it is not! A jabiru trained pilot has a high chance of killing himself in a drifter or thruster through over confidence and inappropriate training for these aircraft.

 

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